Freedom of press in Moldova worsens annually
Moldova ranked the 81st place among 180 world countries in the Press Freedom Rating, which is annually compiled by the organization “Reporters Without Borders”. In comparison to 2017, the republic climbed down one position, with an index of 30.08 points (+0.4%).
According to the organization website, the index rates are calculated on the basis of journalists’ working conditions and the self-censure, the condition of legal defense, media outlets’ independence, as well as their diversity. Each country gets a point on a 100-point scale; the higher is the point the worse is the state of things in the country.
According to organization, the Moldovan media are various, but very polarized, just as the entire country is, which is characterized by economic instability and excessive influence of its oligarchs.
“The editorial policy of Moldova’s leading media is closely connected with political and business interests of their owners. The journalist independence and media ownership are serious problems. As the media outlets are fighting one another in the conditions of Ukrainian crisis aggravation, lack of independence of the broadcasting regulatory agency and the punishment in the propaganda combating still raise concern”, the Reporters Without Borders’ report says.
The situation of the freedom of the press in the Republic of Moldova worsens annually and many of the media outlets would disappear if the development partners didn’t support the independence of the media, executive director of the Association of Independent Press Petru Macovei stated in the program “Politics” on TV8 channel, IPN reports.
“The foreign partners care more for democracy in the Republic of Moldova than the people who came to power and should be concerned about the state of democracy in our country,” said Petru Macovei. According to him, the fact that many media outlets are now financed through international projects is a blow to the current government that does not create the conditions needed for the press to develop independently.
Journalist Dorin Scobioala said under the Communist rule that he considered totalitarian, there was more freedom for practicing journalism and the state institutions were more open. “We have witnessed continuous degradation. Our access to the meeting hall of the Government was banned. Our access to the meeting hall of the Superior Council of Magistracy was banned. The acting mayor of Chisinau, who daily talked about transparency, recently banned access to municipal functionaries and now only the official spokesperson of the City Hall can communicate with journalists,” he stated.
Journalist Mariana Rata noted the politicians will never loosen their grip on media outlets as these are an efficient instrument for influencing the masses. The only solution to change things is for the people to understand what media product they consume.
The 2018 rating is headed by Norway, then Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland come. The list is closed by China (176), Syria (177), Turkmenistan (178), Eritrea (179) and Cyprus (180).
Romania ranked the 44th, Ukraine – 101st, Russia – 148th.